• Youth Homelessness
  • Volume 20, Number 3
  • Managing Editor: Mark D. Shroder
  • Associate Editor: Michelle P. Matuga
 

Intersecting Opportunity Zones with Vacant Business Addresses

Alexander Din
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development


On December 22, 2017, President Donald Trump signed into law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. One provision of this bill was to create Opportunity Zones, low-income census tracts that encourage economic development by providing tax incentives. The states, territories, and Washington, D.C. were in charge of nominating their own Opportunity Zones and then submitting an application to the U.S. Treasury Department for approval. Each jurisdiction was able to nominate up to 25 percent of its low-income census tracts as Opportunity Zones. Once approved, selected census tracts will remain Opportunity Zones for 10 years. Investors are able to use unrealized capital gains as part of an Internal Revenue Service- (IRS) approved Opportunity Fund for businesses within the Opportunity Zones. Tax incentives for investing in Opportunity Zones include a temporary deferral for capital gains invested into the Opportunity Zone, a step-in basis for up to 15 percent of the original capital gains investment to be excluded from taxation, and a permanent exclusion from taxation on gains made after the investment into the Opportunity Zone and if the investment is held for at least 10 years (EIG, 2018). There has been debate about who will benefit from investments into Opportunity Zones (Looney, 2018).


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